TWO cross-party groups of MPs are currently planning to table amendments to the Prime Minister’s alternative Brexit deal which she is due to unveil today.

The moves could allow backbenchers to take control of the business of the House to delay or frustrate Theresa May’s plans and prevent the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.

One group led by Tory ex-minister Nick Boles and the senior Labour MP Yvette Cooper is attempting to block a no-deal Brexit. A second, led by former Tory attorney general Dominic Grieve, is said to want to go further and suspend the Article 50 withdrawal process. His amendment, if approved, would allow a motion put down by 300 MPs – less than half the Commons – to stand as first business of the day. They would have to include MPs from across five parties – including 10 from the governing party.

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Leading Tory backbencher Nicky Morgan – who is backing the Boles-Cooper amendment – rejected claims MPs were trying to stage a constitutional “coup”. “To describe it as a coup is overblown,” she told Sky News’s Ridge on Sunday programme. “It’s a strange coup that starts with a whole bunch of democratically elected Members of Parliament.”

Labour MP Hilary Benn, who is backing the same amendment, also rejected claims MPs were behaving unconstitutionally. “MPs doing their job are not plotters, they are trying to sort out the mess the Prime Minister has created,” he said. “We are facing a national crisis and there are many MPs ... whose first priority is to ensure that we do not leave without a deal, and therefore finding ways when we come to table amendments this week and debate on January 29 how we stop that.”

Hear what The National editor Callum Baird and columnist Paul Kavanagh (the Wee Ginger Dug) have to say on this week's political developments ...